There can be few more perfect examples of a classic tune than Elbows One Day Like This'. A delicate celebration of having a ridiculously nice day; singer Guy Garvey gently crooning tender words to his beloved as flowers bloom, trees blossom and birds and rabbits do the housework. It really is as lovely as it sounds while the enormous ending can tempt even the most  cynical old cunt to holler ‘throw those curtains wide, one day like this a year'd see me right’ in tuneless ecstasy. And yet, and yet, and yet, this glorious ode to joy remains a permanent fixture on Spotify Guilty Pleasures lists, thus reducing it to a canon of cheesy songs we hate to love and can only enjoy through a sneery veneer of self-conscious irony. But where exactly does that guilt come from?

   Somewhere in the unfortunate morass of personal confusion following an aural epiphany, the questions of 'credibility' and 'authenticity' continually raise their heads, inevitably leading to the kind of warped logic that allows a smug-as-fuck Neanderthal like Noel Gallagher to attack the state of modern pop, as if his own brand of Luddite shite is any more meaningful than the kind of stuff his arch nemesis Lewis Capaldi knocks out. It’s the same mentality that provokes talk of 'real' music and to the bogus impression that ultra-conservative and predictable mainstream rock bands like Fleetwood Mac or Snow Patrol are somehow more worthy than a blast of iconoclastic chaos by Neil Diamond or Harry Styles.

   Spurious notions of 'cool' have collapsed over the last twenty years, and guilt has followed in their wake; artists considered unacceptable by the gatekeepers of the seventies, eighties and nineties have gained kudos through internet irony or underground word-of-mouth, while their songs resonate regardless. If there’s a future for our tangles of playlists in this cynical, irony-polluted era, surely it lies within a musical landscape free of spurious notions of 'high' and 'low' art. A world where 'cool' means extracting glory from the glorious din coming out of the speakers, no matter how simplistic, shameless or pop. A world where guilty pleasures, are a thing of the past and we can enjoy the songs on this third edition of our ever popular Ultimate Secret Pleasures series guilt free and entirely on their own merits.

 

1. EVERLY BROTHERS ‘Cathy’s Clown’ (April 1960)

2. THE DRIFTERS ‘Save The Last Dance For Me’ (October 1960)

3. SAM COOKE ‘Cupid’ (May 1961)

4. RAY CHARLES ‘Hit The Road Jack’ (September 1961)

5. CHUCK JACKSON ‘Any Day Now’ (June 1962)

6. RUBY & THE ROMANTICS ‘Hey There Lonely Boy’ (August 1963)

7. EARL JEAN ‘I’m Into Something Good’ (April 1964)

8. THE FOUR TOPS ‘Baby I Need Your Loving’ (July 1964)

9. THE TOYS ‘A Lover’s Concerto’ (October 1965)

10. RAY SHARPE ‘Help Me (Get The Feeling) Pt 1’ (February 1966)

11. GEORGIE FAME & THE BLUE FLAMES ‘Sweet Thing’ (June 1966)

12. TREMELOES ‘Here Comes My Baby’ (January 1967)

13. NANCY SINATRA ‘You Only Live Twice’ (June 1967)

14. BRENTON WOOD ‘Gimme Little Sign’ (August 1967)

15. LULU ‘Love Loves To Love, Love’ (October 1967)

16. REPARATA & THE DELRONS ‘Captain Of Your Ship’ (January 1968)

17. JIMMY JAMES & THE VAGABONDS ‘Red Red Wine’ (July 1968)

18. JUDY COLLINS ‘Both Sides Now’ (October 1968)

19. DUSTY SPRINGFIELD ‘Take Another Little Piece Of My Heart’ (November 1968)

20. TONY JOE WHITE ‘Polk Salad Annie’ (November 1968)

21. CRAZY ELEPHANT ‘Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’ (March 1969)

22. JOE COCKER ‘Feeling Alright’ (May 1969)

23. THE BOX TOPS ‘Soul Deep’ (June 1969)

24. BILLY PRESTON ‘That’s The Way God Planned It’ (June 1969)

25. BRIAN AUGER, JULIE DRISCOLL & THE TRINITY ‘Let The Sun Shine In’ (July 1969)

 

26. MELANIE ‘What Have They Done To My Song Ma’ (August 1970)

27. THE HOLLIES ‘Gasoline Alley Bred’ (September 1970)

28. STEPHEN STILLS ‘Love The One You’re With’ (November 1970)

29. GEORGE HARRISON ‘My Sweet Lord’ (January 1971)

30. NEIL DIAMOND ‘Song Sung Blue’ (May 1972)

31. COLIN BLUNSTONE ‘How Could We Dare To Be Wrong’ (January 1973)

32. STEELY DAN ‘Do It Again’ (January 1973)

33. CARLY SIMON ‘The Right Thing To Do’ (March 1973)

34. PAUL SIMON ‘Loves Me Like A Rock’ (July 1973)

35. JIM CAPALDI ‘It’s All Up To You’ (July 1974)

36. ERIC CLAPTON ‘Willie And The Hand Jive’ (November 1974)

37. PAUL DAVIDSON ‘Midnight Rider’ (November 1975)

38. ANDY FAIRWEATHER LOW ‘Wide Eyed And Legless’ (November 1975)

39. 10cc ‘I’m Mandy Fly Me’ (March 1976)

40. ERIC CARMEN ‘All By Myself’ (April 1976)

41. LIVERPOOL EXPRESS ‘You Are My Love’ (May 1976)

42. WINGS ‘Let ‘Em In’ (June 1976)

43. GALLAGHER & LYLE ‘Breakaway’ (August 1976)

44. FLEETWOOD MAC ‘You Make Loving Fun’ (September 1977)

45. THE BABYS ‘Isn’t It Time’ (October 1977)

46. MANFRED MANN’S EARTH BAND ‘Davy’s On The Road Again’ (April 1978)

47. ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA ‘Sweet Talking Woman’ (October 1978)

48. EARTH, WIND & FIRE ‘September’ (November 1978)

49. GIBSON BROTHERS ‘Ooh What A Life’ (September 1979)

50. M ‘Moonlight And Muzak’ (November 1979)

 

51. BUGGLES ‘The Plastic Age’ (February 1980)

52. LENE LOVICH ‘New Toy’ (February 1981)

53. LANDSCAPE ‘Norman Bates’ (May 1981)

54. SQUEEZE ‘Tempted’ (July 1981)

55. FUN BOY THREE & BANANARAMA ‘It Ain’t What You Do’ (January 1982)

56. THOMPSON TWINS ‘Lies’ (October 1982)

57. FALCO ‘Der Kommissar’ (October 1982)

58. PETER SCHILLING ‘Major Tom’ (January 1983)

59. FLASH AND THE PAN ‘Waiting For A Train’ (April 1983)

60. H20 ‘Just Outside Heaven’ (July 1983)

61. UB40 ‘Please Don’t Make Me Cry’ (October 1983)

62. THE BLUEBELLS ‘I’m Falling’ (March 1984)

63. ORCHESTRAL MANOUVRES IN THE DARK ‘Talking Loud And Clear’ (June 1984)

64. THE DREAM ACADEMY ‘Please Please Please’ (November 1985)

65. MR. MISTER ‘Kyrie’ (February 1986)

66. THE STRANGLERS ‘Always The Sun’ (October 1986)

67. KAREL FIALKA ‘Hey Matthew’ (August 1987)

68. INXS ‘Devil Inside’ (February 1988)

69. LOVE & MONEY ‘Halleluiah Man’ (September 1988)

70. BLACK ‘The Big One’ (September 1988)

71. FRAZIER CHORUS ‘Typical’ (March 1989)

72. TANITA TIKARAM ‘World Outside Your Window’ (March 1989)

73. TEXAS ‘Everyday Now’ (July 1989)

74. LIGHTNING SEEDS ‘Pure’ (July 1989)

75. THEN JERICO ‘Sugar Box’ (August 1989) 

 

76. FINE YOUNG CANNIBALS ‘I’m Not Satisfied’ (February 1990)

77. POP WILL EAT ITSELF ‘Touched By The Hand Of Cicciolina’ (May 1990)

78. STEREO MC’S ‘Elevate My Mind’ (September 1990)

79. CARTER THE UNSTOPPABLE SEX MACHINE ‘Bloodsport For All’ (January 1991)

80. ELECTRONIC ‘Get The Message’ (April 1991)

81. SOHO ‘Hippy Chick’ (May 1991)

82. SOUP DRAGONS ‘Divine Thing’ (March 1992)

83. JAMES ‘Sometimes’ (August 1993)

84. M PEOPLE ‘Sight For Sore Eyes’ (November 1994)

85. MIKE & THE MECHANICS ‘Over My Shoulder’ (February 1995)

86. CRASH TEST DUMMIES FEAT. ELLEN REID ‘The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead’ (April 1995)

87. GARBAGE ‘Queer’ (August 1995)

88. MOLOKO ‘Fun For Me’ (May 1996)

89. ALISHA’S ATTIC ‘I Am, I Feel’ (July 1996)

90. ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ (June 1997)

91. OASIS ‘D’You Know What I Mean’ (July 1997)

92. KULA SHAKER ‘Govinda’ (July 1997)

93. OCEAN COLOUR SCENE ‘Better Day’ (November 1997)

94. SEAHORSES ‘You Can Talk To Me’ (December 1997)

95. SPACE & CERYS MATTHEWS ‘Ballad Of Tom Jones’ (February 1998)

96. FINLEY QUAYE ‘Your Love Gets Sweeter’ (February 1998)

97. BABYBIRD ‘Bad Old Man’ (April 1998)

98. GAY DAD ‘To Earth With Love’ (January 1999)

99. TRAVIS ‘Turn’ (November 1999)

100. DJ LUCK & MC NEAT ‘A Little Bit Of Luck’ (December 1999)

 

101. OXIDE NEUTRINO ‘Bound 4 Da Reload (Casualty)’ (April 2000)

102. CRAIG DAVID ‘Fill Me In’ (August 2002)

103. EAGLE EYED CHERRY ‘Are You Still Having Fun?’ (April 2000)

104. FUN LOVIN’ CRIMINALS ‘Loco’ (February 2001)

105. DIDO ‘Here With Me’ (February 2001)

106. STARSAILOR ‘Good Souls’ (May 2001)

107. MORCHEEBA ‘World Looking In’ (March 2001)

108. NO DOUBT FEAT. LADY SAW ‘Underneath It All’ (August 2002)

109. APPLETON ‘Everything Eventually’ (July 2003)

110. WILL YOUNG ‘Friday’s Child’ (July 2004)

111. KEANE ‘Bedshaped’ (August 2004)

112. EMBRACE ‘Gravity’ (August 2004)

113. SCISSOR SISTERS ‘Mary’ (October 2004)

114. ATHLETE ‘Tourist’ (August 2005)

115. RICHARD ASHCROFT ‘Break The Night With Colour’ (January 2006)

116. SNOW PATROL ‘You’re All I Have’ (April 2006)

117. JAMES MORRISON ‘You Give Me Something’ (July 2006)

118. REVEREND AND THE MAKERS ‘Heavyweight Champion Of The World’ (May 2007)

119. MARK RONSON & LILY ALLEN ‘Oh My God’ (July 2007)

120. THE SCRIPT ‘We Cry’ (May 2008)

121. ELBOW ‘One Day Like This’ (June 2008)

122. THE KILLERS ‘Human’ (September 2008)

123. RAZORLIGHT ‘Wire To Wire’ (October 2008)

124. COLDPLAY ‘Life In Technicolor ii’ (February 2009)

125. ROBBIE WILLIAMS ‘You Know Me’ (December 2009)

 

126. MARINA & THE DIAMONDS ‘Hollywood’ (January 2010)

127. SAK NOEL ‘Loca People’ (February 2011)

128. HERMITUDE ‘Speak Of The Devil’ (October 2011)

129. LANA DEL REY ‘Born To Die’ (December 2011)

130. SUNDAY GIRL ‘Where Is My Mind’ (January 2012)

131. DISCLOSURE FEAT. SAM SMITH ‘Latch’ (October 2012)

132. BASTILLE ‘Pompeii’ (January 2013)

133. YEARS & YEARS ‘Breathe’ (August 2014)

134. OH WONDER ‘All We Do’ (December 2014)

135. JAMIE LAWSON ‘Wasn’t Expecting That’ (April 2015)

136. HOZIER ‘Someone New’ (May 2015)

137. CHVRCHES ‘Leave A Trace’ (July 2015)

138. NIKI & THE DOVE ‘So Much It Hurts’ (February 2016)

139. MØ ‘Final Song’ (May 2016)

140. SZA ‘Drew Barrymore’ (January 2017)

141. PORTUGAL. THE MAN ‘Feel It Still’ (March 2017)

142. SIGRID ‘Strangers’ (November 2017)

143. TAYLOR SWIFT ‘Gorgeous’ (January 2018)

144. SOFI TUKKER FEAT. CHARLIE BARKER ‘Good Time Girl’ (April 2018)

145. JESS GLYNNE ‘I’ll Be There’ (May 2018)

146. LEWIS CAPALDI ‘Tough’ (June 2018)

147. THE 1975 ‘Too Time Too Time Too Time’ (August 2018)

148. BILLIE EILISH ‘Bad Guy’ (March 2019)

149. CHARLIE XCX FEAT. LIZZO ‘Blame It On Your Love’ (May 2019)

150. HARRY STYLES ‘Adore You’ (December 2019)